Tantrums and Silliness

My darling son is five years old. I believe I've mentioned him before, correct? ;-) He can be a pretty easy going kid. He has his off days but generally he's a pretty good kid. But he and his sister are both going through growing spurts right now (eating more, sleeping more, acting out more...just generally doing everything more) and they've been a little more....difficult to manage at times. Zeke especially has had trouble dealing with things when he gets upset.
Last night was one of those times for Zeke. We were having a good night. The kids both ate their dinner and took their baths without fuss, even let me trim their fingernails (a big deal in this house sometimes) and were playing happily...until that dreaded time arrived. BEDTIME. Every child who's having a good time's worst nightmare. I mentioned that we needed to get ready for bed and the fireworks erupted from Zeke. He starts whining and yelling about playing the Nintendo DS. I say we need to put it up and he gets hysterical. I take it away and he starts jumping up and down fast (like a rabbit, almost) and yelling "NO!" But the way he was jumping it was coming out, "No! O! O! O!" I wish I would have had a video camera because he sounded just hilarious. I don't mean to be mean. It was just the way he was jumping that was making his voice wobble and how super fast he was jumping - it was so silly that I started laughing. He glares at me and yells, "MOMMYYYY! IT'S NOT FUNNY!" and then proceeds to cross his arms and make the ultimate pouting face - bottom lip pushed out, eyebrows furrowed, giant frown, the whole nine yards. He's also trying really hard not to smile. I burst out laughing again. Now he's laughing and crying at the same time. I hug him and talk about how we all have to go to bed, even when we don't want to sometimes. He is still crying, though and having trouble stopping, which I understand because that happens to me too when I get upset. He hiccups and coughs and says, "My cryings won't stop, Momma." I tell him sometimes it calms me down to take big breaths in and then blow them out again in a big WHOOSH. We did that several times and I can see him visibly calming down and relaxing. We also did a breathing exercise I learned in Choir a long time ago where you swing your arms back and forth several times and then bring them up over your head and down again while pushing all your breath out while saying "WHOO!" He thought that was funny and I suggested we get a drink and go read his bedtime story book. He skips off to the kitchen like nothing happened.
So it was just another wonderfully chaotic night...but I did learn that sometimes humor, silliness and even breathing techniques can be used to help with tantrums.

Zeke having a bad moment during family pictures!

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